The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Zimbabwe parliament to be sworn in next week
Chinaka 1 hour, 6 minutes ago
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government
plans to convene parliament next
week despite deadlock in talks to end a
post-election political crisis that
has worsened the country's economic
decline and seen inflation hit 11
opposition Movement for Democratic Change said it was not opposed
opening of parliament but would reject any moves by President Robert
to appoint a cabinet before a power-sharing agreement is sealed.
(Mugabe) goes further and appoints a cabinet, it will be against the
and spirit of the MOU," party spokesman Tapiwa Mashakada said, in
to a Memorandum of Understanding between the ruling ZANU-PF and
opposition on the negotiations.
In March elections, ZANU-PF lost its
parliamentary majority for the first
time since independence from Britain in
1980, but Morgan Tsvanigrai's MDC
did not win an overall majority either.
The balance of power rests in the
hands of a breakaway opposition faction
led by Arthur Mutambara.
He has moved closer to Mugabe in recent weeks
and any deal between them
could weaken Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's most powerful
opposition leader, and add
to political uncertainty.
began last month after Mugabe was re-elected unopposed in June,
in a vote
condemned around the world and boycotted by Tsvangirai because of
The political deadlock over
who will control the government has hindered
efforts to ease Zimbabwe's
Inflation rocketed to a staggering 11 million percent in
June, the highest
in the world, from 2.2 million in May, and chronic food,
fuel and foreign
currency shortages are worsening.
economists believe the figure is higher still and it has little
Zimbabweans, who find that a loaf of bread costs almost five
times more than
it did a month ago -- if it can be found for sale.
"Do they say in that
figure that we can no longer afford bus fares, rent,
hospital fees, and that
we can't buy groceries? If the numbers don't say
that, then it is
meaningless," said Sarah Machakairie, 48, a Harare
Zimbabweans hope for a new leadership that can find a quick way
inflation and ease hardships that have driven millions out of the
and strained regional economies.
"When you're going into a
hyper-inflation cycle, until such a time as the
authorities take appropriate
steps to counter it, it seems to continue to
spiral out of control," said
Leon Myburgh, analyst at Citigroup in
challenges Mugabe's legitimacy, but under Zimbabwean law,
convened and officially opened by the state president.
Still, the MDC's
decision not to oppose the opening of parliament may have
been a concession,
given the fierce power struggle gripping Zimbabwe.
But the issue of who
will run the government is a major obstacle to an
agreement, and there are
no guarantees that a deal will bring reconciliation
MDC officials fear Mugabe is maneuvering to give Tsvangirai
only a few
Southern African heads of state at a regional
summit in Johannesburg over
the weekend failed to push ZANU-PF and the MDC
into an agreement.
(Writing by Michael Georgy; editing by Robert
Zimbabwe's MDC will not accept cabinet before deal
Tue 19 Aug
2008, 15:27 GMT
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's main opposition MDC said on
Tuesday it will
not accept President Robert Mugabe appointing a cabinet
power-sharing deal is reached.
"If he (Mugabe) goes further
and appoints a cabinet, it will be against the
letter and spirit of the
MOU," party spokesman Tapiwa Mashakad said, in
reference to a Memorandum of
Understanding between Mugabe's ZANU-PF and the
opposition on the
Scramble for Political Power
HARARE, August 19 2008 - There is now a
serious and sometimes nasty
jockeying in Harare for political power by
parties as the Parliament of
Zimbabwe opening draws close, Radio VOP can
Zanu PF and the major
opposition MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai are
allegedly fighting for the
Speaker top job in the August House of Assembly.
There is also
debate on whether the Speaker should be appointed or
elected by a secret
ballot. The MDC says there is no need for a secret
ballot while Zanu PF
insists this is important for democracy. The MDC has
100 seats in Parliament
while Zanu PF has 99. Any one of them needs 106
votes to attain a two
MDC-T wants to control the Lower
House while Zanu PF wants to control
the Senate which is top heavy. The MDC
says the Speaker must come from the
opposition since they won the election
on March 29.
Zanu PF wants a secret ballot to elect the Speaker
of the House of
Assembly and the Senate. The party also wants its candidate
to lead the
1"Mr" by Mhlanga
Jabulan at Tuesday, 19 August 2008 12:50
This is tantamount to
unfairness the people of Zimbabwe have spoken on
March 29 and the same need
a total change now. The speaker should be
nominated by MDC which has the
majority in Parliament. Voice of the people
should be respected people have
spoken in March through the ballot box. ZANU
PF has total failed now its
time for change as shown by people of Zimbabwe
on March 29. ZANU PF should
learn to respect the will of the people through
the ballot casted on March
2"mrs" by melinda at Tuesday, 19 August 2008 15:16
Mugabe should go he has made Zimbabweans suffer. Grace tel baba
resign with a bit of dignity for the sake of yr children if not
3"ms" by sheila at Tuesday, 19 August 2008 15:24
sei vanhu vachembera vachiramba kubva pazvinzvimbo.(why do these
refuse to surrender powers. What are they afraid of). we are
has a new president, pakistan president has resigned and
almost the whole of
Africa has had at least two presidents, what is wrong
with you Robert
Mugabe. Do you want us to rejoice on your funeral because we
are fed up with
you. The ballot has failed to oust you and even the talks.
As you say, God
put you on that throne so will he remove you. Do you think
of yr immediate
family's predicament when you eventually be taken by the
Mugabe's Party Defies July 21 Agreement
19 August 2008
four weeks after President Robert Mugabe signed a memorandum of
understanding on negotiations with his political opponents, his ZANU-PF
party is accused of violating the crucial clause requiring that he lift the
ban on non-governmental organizations delivering food aid. Peta Thornycroft
reports that, in additon, ZANU-PF leaders continue to violate other crucial
clauses of the agreement.
In June, Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche
banned humanitarian agencies from
distributing food because, he said, they
had campaigned on behalf of the MDC
ahead of the March 29 elections. The
food agencies denied Goche's
The move was widely seen as
a retaliation against voters who supported
Movement for Democratic Change
leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the March
election in which he scored more votes
than Mr Mugabe and his party won a
narrow majority in
This week the World Food Program, which is the largest donor
importer, told VOA the organization has had no word, or even an
that the ban will be lifted.
The WFP works primarily
through local non-governmental organizations as
distribution partners. These
partners were banned from doing field work,
except for school feeding
programs and those to assist people with HIV/AIDS.
The WFP says 250,000
people are currently being assisted, but even as early
as last month that
figure should have been 300,000. The local partner
organizations say many
children are already showing signs of malnutrition as
a consequence of
failed summer crops and that feeding programs should be
escalated as a
matter of urgency.
The WFP says about five million people, or nearly half
the population of
Zimbabwe, will need food aid before the next summer
harvest in April, 2009.
One humanitarian organization, which asked not to
be identified, said some
top ZANU-PF politicians have asked the agency to
defy the government ban
because traditional leaders complain that many
people have no food.
A worker in the Welfare Ministry in Harare said
Monday there were no
indications when or if the ban would be
Renson Gasela, a former MDC legislator and a respected
agriculture, on Monday described the ongoing ban as
"appalling." He said it
was cruel and disgraceful that any government in the
world should prevent
food from getting to people in need.
He said the
continuing food distribution ban violated the July 21 memorandum
Political violence which soared after the MDC's election
continuing, although at a much reduced level.
party issues regular reports providing details of supporters thrown
their homes, beaten up, kidnapped or forced to hand over possessions
Several MDC supporters have died since the memorandum of
signed on July 21. Some are still in the hospital
recovering from the
attacks on them. The agreement was meant to end all
And, in the last week, there has been a sudden
upsurge of white commercial
farmers being illegally evicted from their homes
and land. Harare lawyer
David Drury said Monday he was busy representing
affected farmers. He said
there was what he described as a 'last mad rush'
by ZANU-PF heavyweights to
seize many of the few hundred remaining white
owned farms in anticipation of
some kind of political settlement.
Memorandum of Understanding also committed the signatories, to respect
Negotiations for a power sharing agreement between
the MDC and ZANU-PF
deadlocked in South Africa on Sunday although leaders on
both sides say they
are committed to keep talking.
Zimbabweans can not afford to buy the little food available
as prices double
every few days. The Central Statistical Office announced
late Monday that
inflation had now jumped to more than 11 million percent, a
Mwanawasa's death a blow to the
LUSAKA, 19 August 2008 (IRIN) - Zambian President
Levy Mwanawasa's death has dealt a double blow to Southern Africa, not only
generating fears of possible political instability in Zambia but also concern
about the impact on the process of finding a solution in Zimbabwe, according to
Under the current constitution, which is under review,
Zambians will have to head for fresh polls within 90 days.
chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), was one of the first
regional leaders, together with the past and current presidents of Botswana, to
openly criticise Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's policies.
Mwanawasa died in a French hospital on 19 August, nearly two months
after he was admitted as a result of suffering a stroke, said Zambian
vice-president Rupiah Banda. He was 59.
Describing Mwanawasa as a "good
friend and comrade", the leader of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, said he had "left us at this most trying time".
The late Zambian president had been "a champion of the democratisation
of the SADC region in particular, and the African continent in general; as such,
his passing-on is a sad day to the Zimbabwean people, who at this stage are
yearning for a new beginning which can unquestionably be characterised as
democratic and a reflection of the will of the people," said Tsvangirai.
Mwanawasa was an outspoken critic of Mugabe,
and once likened Zimbabwe to a "sinking titanic". During the violent clashes
before Zimbabwe's general election in early 2008, he described what was
happening in the neighbouring country as "embarrassing to the region and the
|The region has truly lost one of the most
influential figures [contributing] to resolving the Zimbabwe situation. It now
leaves Botswana alone |
His last statement as chair of SADC, read on his behalf on
16 August, was yet another strongly worded criticism of the ruling Zimbabwean
regime, in which he labelled the events leading up to and including the run-off
election on 27 June to elect the Zimbabwean president as "a serious blot on the
culture of democracy in our sub-region."
Lee Habasonda, executive
director of the Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes
[SACCORD], a regional good governance and human rights watchdog, said: "The
region has truly lost one of the most influential figures [contributing] to
resolving the Zimbabwe situation. It now leaves Botswana alone."
Botswana has said it regards Mugabe as an illegitimate leader because he
lost the legitimate election on 29 March, and won the run-off 27 June as sole
the candidate after MDC leader Tsvangirai withdrew because his supporters were
being violently attacked.
"His [Mwanawasa's] leadership was slowly
beginning to take away that conservative and freedom fighter mentality which has
been undermining governance and democracy in the region. The onus now is on the
[other] regional leaders to consolidate on that," Habasonda commented.
Ian Khama, who assumed the Botswana presidency on 1 April, chose to
boycott the last SADC summit in Johannesburg on 16 and 17 June because Mugabe
had been invited. The SADC is trying to negotiate a power-sharing deal between
Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
Meanwhile at home
Analysts said Mwanawasa's death could stir political bickering
in his ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy [MMD], and the man to gain would
be opposition leader Michael Sata.
"There will be a lot of infighting
for the presidency as the MMD has no party vice-president, who should have been
an automatic replacement for president Mwanawasa. They may have to go to the
[national] convention but time is not allowing them. I think we shall soon see
the formation of a break-away party from MMD, before the elections," said a
political analyst who declined to be identified.
Zambia's president in 2001, and won a hotly contested 2006 ballot for his second
and final five-year term, which would have ended in 2011.
His period in
office was characterised by an anti-corruption drive that saw his predecessor,
Frederick Chiluba, together with a number of high-ranking officials in the
former government, in and out of court on corruption charges.
anti-corruption drive endeared Mwanawasa to Western donors, and led to the 2005
cancellation of the country's external debt of US$7.2 billion, putting Zambia
back on a path to economic recovery.
"President Mwanawasa's death leaves
a big hole in terms of the fight against corruption and seriousness in managing
public affairs," Habasonda said. "He showed seriousness, and his legacy will be
remembered as one of the 'Rule of Law'."
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
Zimbabwe inflation rockets to 11.2 million per cent
Zimbabwe's official inflation rate has soared to
more than 11.2 million per cent.
The Central Statistical Office in Harare said that
inflation in the year to June stood at 11,268,758.9 per cent, a rise of
9,035,045.5 per cent from May.
The monthly inflation rate stood at 839.3 per cent,
In an anodyne report on the miraculously precise data
the state-owned Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, said: "Analysts said
rising costs are forcing retailers to increase prices more than once a day in
But John Robertson, an independent economist based in
Harare, put the real figure at "more than 30 million per cent over the year".
He pointed out that over the period in question the
US dollar went up by 23 million per cent over Zimbabwe's currency on the black
"The 11 million per cent they are suggesting seems
rather low," he said, adding that he expects the figure to rise dramatically
into the hundreds of millions per cent.
Over the last three and a half months the Zimbabwe
dollar has lost a compound 13 per cent a day, he said. "In Britain you are
worried about 4.4 per cent a year. Those of us living here are struggling even
to find food for the next meal and the bus fare to go to work the next morning."
Critics say President Robert Mugabe's mismanagement
is entirely to blame for the destruction of a once-thriving economy, and that
the ruling party's own demand for hard currency is a major factor in the
collapsing black-market rate, which stood at Z$120 to the greenback – down 20
per cent on the previous day.
At the end of last month Robert Mugabe's government
knocked 10 zeros off the value of the Zimbabwe dollar, issued a new currency,
and reintroduced coins, although the latter are already becoming impractical and
will be useless within weeks.
The Herald itself costs 100 new Zimbabwe dollars, or
1 trillion old ones.
Supermarket prices include: 500g of infant cereal,
Z$1060, 1 kg of salt, Z$650, 1 kg mince $370, 2lt cooking oil Z$2990.
A teacher's monthly salary is Z$800.
ZANU-PF's economic legacy
The economic calamity in Zimbabwe is hard to phantom, too big to
imagine. 95% unemployment, 45 000 000 & inflation, it's total
Harare --The magnitude of the economic calamity in
Zimbabwe is hard to phantom. One way one can begin to understand the level
of economic ruin that ZANU-PF has brought on the country is by looking at the
annual rate of inflation.
Today, the Herald claimed the annual inflation
rate was not at 11.2 million percent.
"Zimbabwe's annual rate of inflation
surged in June to 11.2 million percent," The newspaper said, adding: "It gained
9,035,045.5 percentage points from the May rate of 2,233,713.4
However everyone agrees that the
government estimate is a fraction of the real figure.
"The actual figure could be high as 40
million percent in June," said independent economist John Robertson.
"The actual figure for July could be as
high as 300 million percent, while for August it could be 600 million percent,"
The currency, once on a par with the
British pound, is in freefall; unemployment is pegged at a staggering 95
percent; food and essential goods are in short supply and the vast majority of
people go hungry every day.
In the face of such adversity, many
have resorted to ingenious ways to ensure their next meal.
Mike Bvunzawabaya, a security guard at
a large Harare supermarket, is able to buy a loaf of bread at the official price
of eight Zimbabwe dollars, which he then resells for 120 dollars.
"At least I am not stealing from
anyone," he says, justifying the thriving sideline trade of 15 to 20 loaves he
resells every day.
In one Zimbabwean village, people have
turned to barter, exchanging a bar of soap for maize, and are cutting down on
Villagers who once stashed savings from
grain sales are now refusing to accept cash as they cannot afford bus fares to
travel to shops and fear the money will be worthless before they
In cities, some doctors ask to be paid
in cash rather than charging medical insurance schemes, saying the currency
would be further devalued by the time they are reimbursed. Some schools are
charging school fees in fuel coupons.
In Harare, a 29-year-old Air Zimbabwe
worker did not go to work last week as she could not afford the transport costs
to get there.
"It costs me more to go to work," she
said, adding that the number of travellers using the airline had
The UN World Food Programme (WFP)
estimates that 83 percent of Zimbabweans are living on less than two US dollars
a day and that 45 percent of the total population is malnourished.
Recently, the state-controlled Herald
newspaper carried a story about a man who invested his retirement package in a
fixed account 10 years ago. When he went to withdraw his savings, he was told
the money was worth one cent after the country's central bank knocked ten zeros
off the Zimbabwe dollar.
Earlier this month, Zimbabwe's central
bank chief urged a six-month price and salary freeze in a bid to rein in runaway
inflation, with the country in the midst of an economic meltdown.
"Zimbabweans must realise that the
country is in a practically binding state of socio-economic emergency," The
Herald quoted Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono as saying then.
"As such, there is need for a universal
moratorium on all incomes and prices for a minimum period of six months," said
The economic ruination by ZANU-PF and
Mugabe is a text example of a total failure in a government in the history of
the world. --Tribune Business News/Services
Ordinary Zimbabweans juggle world's
highest inflation and food shortages
HARARE, Aug 19 (AFP)
Mike Bvunzawabaya is one of Harare's
luckier residents. As a security guard
at a large supermarket, he is able to
buy a loaf bread at the official price
of eight Zimbabwe dollars, which he
then resells for 120 dollars.
"At least I am not stealing from anyone,"
is how he justifies the thriving
sideline trade of 15 to 20 loaves which his
brother runs while he is at
"We are now all employed," says
Bvunzawabaya. "If we do not do that, how do
you honestly think we would
While Zimbabwe's political rivals thrash out nuances trying to
power-sharing deal, ordinary citizens like Bvunzawabaya are juggling
dual problem of the world's highest inflation rate of 11.2 million
and major food shortages.
The country's official inflation
rate soared nine million percentage points
in June amid an intensified
political crisis after President Robert Mugabe
held a widely condemned
one-man, presidential run-off vote.
In one rural village, people have
turned to barter trade, exchanging a bar
of soap for 50 kilogrammes of
maize, and are cutting down on meals.
Villagers who once stashed savings
from grain sales are now refusing to
accept cash as they cannot afford bus
fares to travel to shops and fear the
money will be worthless before they
In cities, some doctors ask to be paid in cash rather than
insurance schemes, saying that the money will have lost
value by the time
they are reimbursed. Some schools are charging school fees
in fuel coupons.
In Harare, a 29-year-old Air Zimbabwe worker did not go
to work last week as
she could not afford the transport costs to get
"It costs me more to go to work," she said, adding that the number
travellers using the airline has dropped.
The World Food Programme
(WFP) estimates that 83 percent of Zimbabweans are
living on less than two
US dollars a day and that 45 percent of the total
Once known as the region's breadbasket, Zimbabwe's overall
for 2008 is estimated to drop 28 percent lower than last
year's already low
The country's inflation sky-rocketed from
an all-time high of 100,000
percent in February to a new record high of 11.2
million percent, which some
analysts say could reach as high as 600 million
Recently, the state-controlled Herald newspaper carried a story
about a man
who invested his retirement package in a fixed account with a
society 10 years ago.
But when he went to withdraw his
savings, he was told the money was worth
one cent after the country's
central bank knocked ten zeros off the Zimbabwe
funds are in serious trouble," commented Tony Hawkins, an economist
University of Zimbabwe. "Savings become worthless within days and
happens in any situation where you have hyper-inflation."
central bank figures, remittances from Zimbabweans living
abroad shot up by
226 percent to 45-million US dollars in the first six
months of this,
compared with the same period last year.
Long queues to pick up hard
currencies, such as the South African rand and
the US dollar, at Zimbabwe's
money transfer agencies mean that the cash
often runs out.
currency is the preferred payment at some fuel stations, hair salons
rental accommodation, with requests even heard for church donations
be made in local money.
An estimated three million Zimbabweans are said
to be living outside the
country, many of them in neighbouring South Africa
whose President Thabo
Mbeki is mediating talks between Mugabe and two
The country's economic meltdown has continued in the
crisis which intensified after the main opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai
pulled out of the June run-off election due to
fears of violence.
A regional summit of Southern African leaders in
Johannesburg at the weekend
failed to bring the sides to a settlement, which
is needed to tackle the
Zimbabwe's urgent social and economic
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the WFP
estimate that four
million people -- more than a third of 11.8 million
Zimbabweans -- will need
food assistance by next year.
exiles on warpath against Mugabe
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - Web posted at 7:18:04 AM GMT
Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) has lodged an urgent application with
Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal in Windhoek to
declare President Robert Mugabe's government illegal and force regional
leaders to stop inviting him to their meetings.
Norman Tjombe of the Legal Assistance Centre confirmed that the papers
served on several individuals as well as the tribunal's head office in
Windhoek and that they were awaiting a date for the hearing.
"We have made a host of demands including that the elections be
unconstitutional," Tjombe said.
Mugabe attended a weekend SADC
summit in South Africa despite the
application and a boycott of the meeting
by Botswana President Seretse Khama
Khama refused to
attend the summit because his government does not
Mugabe ran alone in the June 27 presidential run-off
the main contender and opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai,
citing state-sponsored violence against his
The poll was condemned around the world and criticised
The 14-member SADC urged
Zimbabwe's leaders to forge an inclusive
SA-based non-governmental organisation assisting those who
have fled from
the political violence in Zimbabwe, is being assisted by the
Assistance Centre and the Southern African Litigation Centre.
application seeks to hold SADC to its own founding principles,
since Mugabe's election as president of Zimbabwe was recognised
itself as not free and fair and not reflective o[ends here...]
Can't Afford to Leave Markets -- Literally
By Tonderai Kwidini
Aug 19 (IPS) - It is a wintry Tuesday evening at one of the tobacco
floors in the Zimbabwean capital Harare. A group of small scale
farmers are preparing food for the night.
This is the second week for
some of them in Harare after their arrival at
the tobacco auction floors to
sell their produce. They have just been paid
20 Zimbabwean dollars
(re-valued), or one U.S. dollar on the parallel
market, as initial cash
payment for their produce.
But this amount is hardly enough to cover a
day's costs for a single person
in the hyper-inflationary Zimbabwean
environment, where a loaf of bread is
priced above one U.S.
The rest of the payment is made in cheques. But accessing the
cash is a tall
order for the farmers as a result of constant cash shortages.
have closed their rural branches where most of the farmers
reside. As a
result farmers are now forced to travel to the city to get
After selling their produce at the markets, farmers are left
they still do not have enough cash to pay for transport home.
forced to seek sanctuary at markets and auction floors in the
The deaths of 14 farmers in a truck accident in June this year
has led to a
chorus of farmers calling for the establishment of centralised
farmers died when the lorry they were travelling in plunged
into a river
while on its way to Harare's Mbare Musika market.
past there were several markets around the country where buyers
in different types of produce would converge. But all this
changed as a
result of the chaotic farm invasions of 2000, which left many
communities resembling ghost towns.
Most of the farming communities, such
as Mhangura, Mvurwi, Chipinge, Chegutu
and Karoi, were a hive of activity
but all this is now a thing of the past.
Some of the former trading centres
are now being used as storage facilities
''Farming now means nothing to us because, even if we work
hard in the
fields, it is not helping. When you sell your produce, the money
you get is
useless and the cheques take time to clear. This is our second
week here. We
are waiting for the money from the bank,'' Cecilia Madzanise,
tobacco farmer from Concession, a farming community located
about 80 km from
Harare, told IPS.
It costs 50 Zimbabwean dollars
(re-valued), or 2,50 U.S. dollars, for her to
travel back to her rural home.
But when she sold her produce she was given
an initial payment of 20
Zimbabwean dollars. She now lives on credit because
she has no money to
return to Concession.
''It is better for them to bring the markets to us
so that we don't waste
money travelling to Harare where we end up stranded
like this. The money we
are being paid is very little and accessing it is
difficult too,'' Madzanise
She is just one of the many farmers
calling for the establishment of
centralised markets in rural areas to
reduce the distance that farmers have
to travel to reach markets in the
The farmers are currently paying high transport costs to take
to the markets. Efforts to establish transport clubs where a
farmers from a particular area hire a truck together have not
Transporters, seeking to maximise profits, are charging them
Small-scale fresh farm producers have been the hardest hit.
They have to
travel to the cities at least once a week with their produce.
they would meet the trucks with their produce in the towns but
now it is a
common sight to see them perched on top of vegetables or tomato
trucks in a bid to try and cut costs, risking their lives in the
''We are wasting a lot of money on food and transport costs
Harare. Had the market been in the rural areas or if the
buyers came to buy
in the rural areas, it would be better. Now we can't pay
school fees or buy
food for our families because all the money goes towards
Alec Ngwende, a small-scale vegetable farmer from Chihota
east of Harare, told IPS.
Andrew Ferreira, the
Zimbabwe Tobacco Association president, supports the
regional markets: ''From the growers' perspective, anything
that eases the
transport problems is a plus. But we have to be careful with
how we do it
because it also affects the prices that will be paid for the
Some of the traditional buyers from Europe who procured
goods directly from
small-scale farmers have since stopped, in protest
against the country's
human rights record. Europe's largest supermarket
chain, Tesco, announced
its withdrawal in June this year.
with Zimbabwe's Fresh Produce Producers Association said Tesco
biggest customer in Europe, buying 50 percent of the association's
20 million percent
in the flesh
I’ve just come from the bank, where the whole queue was talking about prices.
The cash withdrawal limit in Zimbabwe has been raised to $300 (which would have
been $3 trillion before 10 zeros were lopped off last month). This is, at least, a marked
improvement over $10 ($100 billion), which it was for several weeks before
But ever since Gono chopped them off, the the zeros have been racing to catch
up. As my colleague put it, they’re Olympic runners and they’re coming back fast
and furious. Yesterday’s commuter omnibus fare into town was $40 ($400 billion)
in the morning – by the time of the evening commute home again it had gone up to
$60 ($600 billion).
It’s the same in the shops – it’s as if, now that prices are in hundreds,
instead of trillions, there is license to double and treble prices daily –
because things suddenly sound so cheap! Zimbabwe’s inflation is now 11.2 million
percent per year (officially - independent bankers peg it at closer to 20
million). Imagine how many times in a year you’d have to double the prices
of something to have it end up two hundred thousand times as expensive at the
end of the year as it was to begin with.
My bank queue wasn’t the only group noticing this – a comment we received
from a subscriber today notes similarly:
The recent pricing of commodities and services as well has sent the majority
running short of superlatives to describe the situation. It can be argued
following the mid-year monetary policy announcement by the Reserve Bank
Governor, prices started to increase astronomically. The monetary statement
among other things increased maximum withdrawal to $3 trillion from $100
billion, slashed ten zeros which he argued for convenience sake and also
re-introduced old coins as part of empowerment. This acted as a catalyst for
price hikes by unscrupulous business people who are taking advantage of the
situation. Surprisingly, the NIPC (National Incomes and Pricing Commission) is
watching as the madness continues. Its credibility as a commission is now
Manicaland province under siege by war veterans and militia
19 August 2008
The violence and intimidation against MDC
activists has continued in
Zimbabwe as efforts to reach a power sharing
arrangement between the
opposition and ZANU PF have thus far
MDC officials in the Manicaland province have reported another
following the kidnapping and assault of the wife of an opposition
in Buhera South. Juliet Dakacha, wife of activist Killian Chirau,
abducted on Thursday and then released the same day after she was
beaten and tortured. Chirau's younger brother, Moses has since been
kidnapped by suspected war veterans and ZANU PF militia over the weekend and
is believed to be held at the notorious Mutiusinazita torture
The MDC spokesman for the Manicaland constituency, Pishai
Newsreel on Tuesday that Juliet Dakacha has been unable to
care or be transported to hospital because most of the
party's vehicles are
in the hands of police who confiscated them during the
following the March 29 elections. Muchauraya added that
hundreds of MDC
supporters around the country have yet to receive medical
election-period injuries, due to lack of transport and other
Muchauraya confirmed that war veterans are still carrying out a
campaign against MDC supporters in the Manicaland province. He said
South is the worst affected area as groups under the leadership of
notorious Joseph Chinotimba are "terrorising the area" and "brutalising
supporters". MDC MP-elect for Buhera South, Naison Nemadziva, remains in
hiding in Mutare, after serious threats against his life by ZANU PF militia.
Muchauraya said the thugs have threatened to kill Nemadziva, saying his seat
belongs to ZANU PF.
Meanwhile, as the war veterans and militia
continue their reign of terror,
Muchauraya said people are beginning to
starve to death. He said in Makoni
South alone, five people have already
died of starvation, and added that in
the next two weeks, "without
humanitarian aid, you can count on thousands
more dying". He added that ZANU
PF "manipulation" is forcing people to give
up their livestock for meagre
amounts of maize meal, and the militia are
controlling people's lives by
stealing their limited food supplies. He said
that the severe lack of food
in the province is "not sparing anyone" and
even those with money are
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Elephants slaughtered at alarming rate in Zimbabwe
By Violet Gonda
Zimbabwe's once thriving wildlife and tourism industry is
threat as authorities continue to kill elephants and other
animals at an
Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman for the
Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force,
said the Department of National Parks and
Wildlife Management has embarked
on what they are calling an "Elephant
Population Management Programme". But
the authorities are deliberately
targeting elephants with the largest tusks,
which has nothing to do with
Conservationists believe the Parks authorities are
killing the animals for
money, under the guise of animal control. Hunting
tenders are not going to
locals and as a result of the lawlessness caused by
the economic and
political crisis, foreign hunters are using the crisis to
abuse the system.
Rodrigues said there is a huge market for ivory and tusks
can go for as much
as £65 000 in some cases.
He said the ivory and
skins are not being sent to the Parks central stores
and nothing is being
recorded. Unscrupulous hunters from South Africa are
working with some of
the Chinese nationals in the country, who are in
cahoots with corrupt
This uncontrolled slaughter is destroying the gene
pool of Zimbabwe's
wildlife and threatens the future of the tourist industry
recently, was a very large foreign currency earner for the
Conservationists are also very concerned about the manner in
animals are being killed. With the lack of expertise and control
animals are not cleanly killed and are just wounded. These animals then
become very dangerous and can end up attacking people.
The so called
'culling' that is illegally taking place is targeting whole
The adults are slaughtered for their ivory and the
traumatised young are
sold on to unscrupulous users.
This is happening in contravention of
international trade regulations that
Zimbabwe has signed up to and once you
decimate herds and kill the biggest
and the best, it takes generations to
repair the damage.
In Hwange National Park alone authorities have killed
over 1800 elephants
and plan to slaughter at least another 1000. It seems
that Hwange is often
used as a killing ground, because in the early 1990's
the army were given
free reign and all the white rhino in the area were
Parks say there are over 100 000 elephants in Zimbabwe, but
have long believed that these figures are artificially
inflated to try to
justify Zimbabwe's regular requests to CITES for
permission to sell its
ivory. The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force estimates
there are actually
less than 50 000 elephants.
Once again Zimbabwe's
crisis targets the most innocent - in this case, our
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
WOZA members released
Nine WOZA members released; two face charges of
18th August 2008
members released; two face charges of criminal nuisance
ON Saturday 16th,
police officers released the nine WOZA members who had
been in detention
since Wednesday night. Two members, Samukeliso Sibanda and
Jema Gama, were
asked to report to the police station this morning (Monday).
arrival, the two were advised that they were to be charged with being a
'public nuisance' under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. They
were then taken to the Magistrates Court where they appeared before
Magistrate Charity Maphosa. The defence lawyer from Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights advised that they plead guilty, which they did. The magistrate
will deliver a ruling at 11:15 on Tuesday 19 August 2008. The charge
normally carries a fine.
Whilst the two women appear in court on the
19th, WOZA will launch a report
on the trauma experiences of its members in
Johannesburg, South Africa,
entitled 'Counting the Cost of Courage: Trauma
Experiences of Women Human
Rights Defenders in Zimbabwe'.
S.African firms set to cash in on post-Mugabe deals
Tue 19 Aug
2008, 9:40 GMT
By Rebecca Harrison
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South
African companies -- used to working in risky
African markets -- are poised
to benefit from lucrative investment
opportunities if a deal to end
Zimbabwe's post-election crisis goes through.
With inflation at 11
million percent, the economy in ruins, massive brain
drain and property
rights subject to political whim, investing in Zimbabwe
is not for the risk
But the southern African country is also home to the world's
platinum reserves, 13 million people hungry for long-denied
services and a neglected infrastructure the international
community may pay
to rebuild. And while millions of its highly skilled
workers have fled, many
may be tempted back by the stability that a deal
wresting at least some
power from President Robert Mugabe
South African companies, many of which have already proved they
money in risky and conflict-scarred countries such as the
Republic of Congo and Nigeria, are already jockeying for a slice
"The only thing Zimbabwe has been exporting
is misery," said Roelof Horne,
who manages about $1 billion in pan-African
funds for Investec Asset
Management. "A booming, growing Zimbabwe run by a
government committed to
its people's well-being can only be a net net
positive for the region."
Western countries blame Mugabe for wrecking
Zimbabwe's economy and accuse
him of rigging elections, charges he
And even if the ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement
Democractic Change (MDC) reach a deal, Mugabe may retain enough
CLEAR HEALTH WARNING
Risks analyst Anne Fruehauf said post-crisis investment should
depend on a
security and monetary policy overhaul and came with a "clear
A deal acceptable to international donors could usher in some
in aid and ease political risk across the region, boosting the
prompting a re-rating of South African equities, particularly those
"We'll see an immediate boost for local
stocks," said one investment banker.
"Then there's specific companies that
will benefit from an on-the-ground
African firms, many with small units in Zimbabwe already, have capital
companies in that country cannot raise, and boast a historic,
linguistic edge over other foreigners, having not had
political pressure to
"You have the length of service argument -- a large number of
firms are already there and know the market extremely well,
which can have a
multiplier effect for business partners," said
Platinum miners are the most obvious and immediate corporate
of a stable Zimbabwe despite government steps to nationalise
inadequate power capacity, the collapse of the local supply
chain and a
skills shortage. Impala Platinum, the foreign mining firm with
investment in Zimbabwe, has vowed to pump in cash if the
economic situation improves.
Anglo Platinum also has
operations in Zimbabwe and the Financial Times said
last week parent firm
Anglo American had held secret talks with the MDC over
rejigging the mining
concessions system should it gain power.
And a platinum rush would spawn
Construction and engineering firm Group Five's
Chief Executive Mike Upton
told Reuters the firm was "ready to go" in
Zimbabwe and could quickly revive
a dormant unit there.
and its rivals Murray & Roberts and Aveng would aim initially to
contracts with miners but broader infrastructure tenders could
The barriers to investment in Zimbabwe are
huge: the banking system is in
disarray, power shortages are acute and hyper
inflation would have to be
A World Bank report ranks Zimbabwe
in 152nd place of 178 countries for ease
of doing business, and analysts
urge caution until the terms of a deal and
Mugabe's role in it are
"If there is a coalition controlled by Mugabe then it means donors
financing his crazy economic policies," Moeletsi Mbeki of the South
Institute of International Affairs, said. "There will be no economic
But while the economy could take years to stabilise, once it
Zimbabweans will want to go shopping.
Zimbabwe has one of the
lowest levels of mobile phone use in Africa and a
new government could raise
foreign exchange fast by selling new licences to
the likes of South Africa's
MTN or Vodacom.
Standard Bank, the continent's No.1 banking group by
assets, has virtually
written off profits from its Zimbabwe unit due to
soaring inflation, but CEO
Jacko Maree told Reuters it was ready to inject
capital once a political
solution is found.
South African retailers
Shoprite, Pick 'n Pay and Woolworths all have
experience in Zimbabwe and
could quickly open new stores.
"Will South African companies immediately
open 20 new stores? No. But they
are definitely already at the drawing
boards," said a senior banker at the
South African arm of a major
international investment bank.
"If you get a rational approach to
monetary policy that very quickly creates
a framework for investors."
Impasse for Zimbabwe
Unless Mugabe and Mbeki accept that Tsvangirai is key to
international recovery, these talks will falter
Tuesday August 19 2008 19:00 BST
for the creation of a transitional government in Zimbabwe are
at a serious
impasse. They were suspended last week, with chief mediator
saying that while a break was needed to give opposition leader
Tsvangirai an opportunity to reflect on remaining sticking points,
the issues were resolved. But shows of optimism by the South African
president or anyone else are wholly premature. The most critical matter of
all - who will actually run Zimbabwe - is no closer to resolution.
Tsvangirai is taking time to reflect, he is completely justified. Since
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won the historic parliamentary
elections and he defeated Robert Mugabe in the first round of the
presidential poll on March 29, his popular mandate has been clear and
unsullied by the June 27 presidential runoff, which he was forced to quit in
the face of extreme violence against his supporters.
been entrusted by Zimbabwe's people to lead the country out
of its troubles,
and he cannot hope to do that if he accepts anything less
than a transfer of
the reins of power.
At the outset, an agreement seemed possible, making
Tsvangirai head of
government with full executive powers and leaving Mugabe
as ceremonial head
of state with a "father of the nation" role. Tsvangirai
concessions: Mugabe would retain some powers such as the
right to declare
war, would co-chair the cabinet, and could make some
appointments of some
key government posts in consultation with
But Mugabe refuses to cede any serious executive power. Hardly
Tsvangirai has rejected outright his demand that he keep the
power not only
to reshuffle the cabinet but also to fire the prime minister.
concede that the supervision of ministries could be shared, with
overseeing those such as finance, foreign affairs, industry and
and local government. But all the security ministries - defence,
affairs, and intelligence - would report to Mugabe directly. And Mugabe
would continue to chair the securocratic clique known as the joint operation
command (JOC), his primary instrument for retaining power, and responsible
for much of the recent ugly violence.
Though Mugabe wears no
general's uniform, for all practical purposes his is
dictatorship, relying on the support of the military
brute domestic force, to cling to power. Tsvangirai,
rightly, has refused to
accept being rendered impotent and irrelevant on
internal security issues,
arguing instead for the JOC to be reconstituted as
a jointly chaired
national security council, professionalised and
disconnected from Zanu-PF
and Mugabe himself.
Despite the evident reasonableness of Tsvangirai's
position - too moderate
for some of his supporters' taste - he has been cast
by Mbeki as the more
intransigent party, and borne nearly all the pressure
imposed by a mediator
whose impartiality continues to be called into
question. Meanwhile, there is
no sign that Mbeki's co-mediators - Jean Ping
of the African Union, Jorge
Chikoty of the Southern African Development
Community; and the UN's Haile
Menkerios - will be able to counterbalance his
role with effective pressure
of their own on Mugabe.
leader has very good reason for holding absolutely firm in
the talks to
acquire the powers that are rightly and democratically his, and
needs if he is to begin to be able to bring Zimbabwe back from its
unutterably miserable current economic and social
Tsvangirai's ace is that he holds the key to Zimbabwe's
acceptance. There is ample potential support from the US and
EU to rebuild
Zimbabwe's shattered economy and society, to tackle the public
system that has permitted the hyper-inflationary meltdown, and to
specific reforms, such as restructuring the justice sector, and
professionalising the security sector. The World Bank, the IMF and the
African Development Bank are all able and willing to play major roles in the
country's macro-economic stabilisation.
What global political and
institutional leaders need to do is to make even
more loudly and publicly
clear than they have already that any negotiated
agreement, in order to be
credible, to get sanctions lifted, and above all
to open the door to
critical new international assistance, must provide
essential executive powers, including control over the key
internal security, and that support will only be delivered, and
if minimum benchmarks are observed. That basic sentiment is out
it has to be more explicitly articulated.
Short of a deal that can really
enable the MDC leader to move the country in
the direction the Zimbabwean
people have entrusted him to take, the
international message must continue
to be that the results of the June 27
presidential runoff are illegitimate,
political violence is completely
unacceptable, and the solution to
Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis
can only come through a properly
negotiated process, producing a genuinely
workable government that reflects
the current popular will.
Tsvangirai to seek help from SADC leaders to avert food crisis
19 August 2008
MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai has
emabarked on a regional tour to urge
SADC leaders to help end the misery in
the country by asking them to apply
pressure on Robert Mugabe to allow food
aid to flow into Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe of deliberately
causing starvation, after his
party's decision to halt all aid operations in
the run-up to his one man
presidential vote in June. The effect of the ban
was to give the regime
almost complete control over the food supply. The
United Nations estimates
that almost four million people are now cut off
from emergency food aid.
For weeks, the MDC has raised fears of dire
consequences for the already
fragile humanitarian situation, if the ban is
not lifted. Food supplies only
flow with the consent of the men with the
guns. The military, under Defence
Forces commander Constantine Chiwenga,
direct the flow of any food to
solidify Zanu-PF's support in it's geographic
stronghold, and have cut off
supply to all areas friendly to the MDC.
the past Mugabe has always been able to rely on support from the
countryside, particularly Mashonaland. But in the March elections it was
clear that ZANU-PF had lost its electoral heartland and that mass opposition
was developing among the rural poor. The ban on food aid was Mugabe's
response to the collapse of his previous support base.
Mugabe and the
corrupt elite that surround him are seeking to hold on to
power at whatever
cost to the rural poor and urban working class. MDC
Mlilo said the decision to ban the distribution of food
aid spelt disaster
for the millions who are dependent on it, after the
collapse of the
agricultural sector. He accused the regime of "callous
contempt" for the
poorest and most vulnerable in the country.
ZANU PF expressed it's commitment
to alleviate the humanitarian crisis with
the signing of the Memorandum of
Understanding, setting the agenda for the
power-sharing talks. But the
regime has not moved an inch to rectify the
Tsvangirai and MDC faction leader Arthur Mutambara agreed to work
when they signed the MOU, to ensure the lifting of the ban on all
operations of humanitarian organizations.
Many observers feel that ZANU
PF is trying to use the food situation as a
weapon, to force Tsvangirai to
agree to a deal that leaves Mugabe with his
vast powers. But on Tuesday, an
aide to Tsvangirai insisted the MDC will not
relent in it's demands that it
should be in charge of government.
Tsvangirai began his diplomatic
offensive on the sidelines of the SADC
summit in Johannesburg over the
weekend and will continue to appraise the
regional leaders on the
humanitarian crisis in the coming ten days.
'He'll continue to engage the
region on our power-sharing proposal on the
table and also appraise them on
the humanitarian disaster looming,' said the
Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Rights group says Zim in complex state of emergency
Tuesday, 19 August
Rights group says Zim in complex state of
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe is in a "complex state of
emergency" where the
government has declared war against its people while
needed humanitarian support for the hungry and other
marginalised groups, a
women's rights group said on Tuesday.
The Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) called on the regional Southern
Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) to urge
Mugabe to stop political violence that the group said had
ongoing talks between Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF and the
"Zimbabwe is in a complex state of emergency where the
declared war on its people. We are being arrested, tortured
and taken to
Chikurubi (prison) where there is no food and water," said WOZA
Jenni Williams, during the launch in Johannesburg of a report on
of the group's members.
The report titled "Counting
the Cost of Courage" details cases of
illegal arrest, abuse and torture that
WOZA says were committed against its
members by the police and other state
Williams, who was speaking ahead of an expected visit to
week by SADC chairman and South African President Thabo Mbeki,
and AU should pressure Mugabe to stop the political violence and
militia camps in all areas of the country."
expected in Harare possibly today to try one more time to
push Mugabe and
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to agree to share power after a
last weekend failed to bring the two rivals to agree to form
a government of
A power-sharing government is seen as the most
viable way to end
Zimbabwe's long-running crisis that is marked by the
inflation of 11 million percent, severe shortages of food,
currency and deepening poverty.
African leaders to pressure Mugabe to allow
(NGOs) to resume delivery of humanitarian aid
to hundreds of thousands of
Zimbabweans facing hunger.
"The government should immediately lift
the current ban on
organisations providing humanitarian assistance and allow
a United Nation
team to address the humanitarian crisis and widespread
political interference," she said.
government last June banned all NGO field operations after
agencies of using aid distribution as a pretext to carry out
for Tsvangirai and the MDC.
Zimbabwe, once a regional breadbasket,
has grappled with severe food
shortages since 2000 when Mugabe launched his
haphazard fast-track land
reform exercise that displaced established white
commercial farmers and
replaced them with either incompetent or inadequately
funded black farmers.
A shortage of seed and fertilizer hampered
planting while erratic
rains for most of the 2007/2008 farming season has
meant yields will be much
lower again this year and international relief
agencies will have to step in
with food aid. - ZimOnline
Mutambara's Interview with Geraldine Doogue
Arthur Mutambara, leader of the breakaway faction of the
Democratic Change, on ABC Radio National's Saturday
WHO are you? How dare you undermine our intelligence? How dare
you, you are
so racist to the extent that you can't guarantee us, give us
the vote of confidence that we can make our own
Geraldine Doogue: Well, let ...
Mutambara: You are
collectively stupid ...
Doogue: Let me ...
collective foolishness. We won't allow Australia to judge our
It's none of your business.
Doogue: Let me bring up the issue of the
Mutambara: I haven't finished. Shame on you for expressing no
Morgan Tsvangirai. Shame on you for expressing no confidence
Shame on you for expressing no confidence in Mutambara. We will
Doogue: Is it possible that you or Mr
Tsvangirai could be walking into a
trap as Joshua Nkomo did in the '80s,
where it looked like a power-sharing
agreement and in fact as you know
Mutambara: I have a question. Do you think I am stupid? When you ask
question you think we are foolish and we are very offended that you
are that stupid. We are smarter than the Australians. We are
the Americans. We went to better schools than most of these
America, in Britain and in Australia. I am coming out of Oxford.
your prime ministers can challenge me intellectually. So how do you
patronise me and tell me that I'm going to be hoodwinked by
FOLLOWING media reports that
Professor Arthur Mutambara had agreed with
Mugabe that he becomes one of the
deputy prime ministers, I wrote to
Professor Mutambara. I was shocked with
the response that I got: "Stop all
communication to me please. why can't you
find better things to do with your
life. foolish loser."
'African women must rally for peace in Zimbabwe'
The Pan African Parliament's President, Getrude Mongella, has
African women to rally together for peace and stability in
Zimbabwe. She was
speaking at the opening of the annual South African
Mongella says without the stability, whatever gains
made in improving the
lives of women in Africa would always be set back by
strife faced by women
She said it's time for women to
play their part in the Zimbabwean crisis.
"You must put up a caucus to
digest the Zimbabwe question, to create peace,
not to be pro or against,
that is not our work but the work of the
Bus Operators Charge Fares in Forex
The Herald (Harare)
Published by the government of Zimbabwe
19 August 2008
Posted to the
web 19 August 2008
LONG-DISTANCE bus operators,
particularly those plying the Harare-Bulawayo
route, have joined the foreign
currency craze, with some demanding as much
as 120 rand per trip.
transporters revealed yesterday that they were charging fares in foreign
currency or the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent at the parallel market. This has
made travelling a nightmare.
It is illegal to peg fares and
prices in foreign currency without the
authority of the Reserve Bank of
A snap survey yesterday showed that the Harare-Bulawayo trip
almost the same amount as a journey to South Africa.
Bulawayo-Johannesburg trip, a distance of 800km, costs about R290. The
distance between Bulawayo and Harare is 440km.
When this reporter
visited Renkini Long-Distance Bus Terminus yesterday,
most buses and
commuter omnibuses that ply the Harare-Bulawayo route were
R120, 110 pula or $12 trillion.
Touts and conductors at the terminus
defended charging in foreign currency,
arguing that the Zimbabwe dollar was
tumbling daily, if not hourly.
"Charging using the Zimbabwe dollar is not
profitable," said a conductor who
only identified himself as
He said they accepted passengers who paid fares in foreign
currency or the
Zimbabwe dollar equivalent.
"Tomorrow (today) we will
be charging $15 trillion to get to Harare and the
fare might go up again any
time soon," said George.
Many would-be travellers complained that the
fares in foreign currency or
the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent on the parallel
market were not affordable.
"The amount is just way beyond my reach. I
cannot afford to travel to
"We are living in Zimbabwe but are
expected to pay in foreign currency just
to get to Harare, a Zimbabwean
city," bemoaned Mr Samuel Zaranyika.
He appealed to the relevant
authorities to intervene as the unscrupulous bus
conductors and touts'
demand for payment in foreign currency was
"The touts are a menace because they are the ones that usually
for the trips so that they get some money out of it. I appeal to
authorities to deal with these conductors and touts because they are the
ones who are fuelling price increases by charging us in foreign currency,"
In response, a prominent Harare-based bus operator, Mr James
attributed the resort to charging fares in foreign currency to
ever-ballooning cost of maintaining buses.
He said service
providers were charging in foreign currency.
"Spares are not readily
available and those that have the spares charge us
in foreign currency. We
are also buying fuel on the black market in United
States dollars," claimed
A trip to Harare from Bulawayo by train in sleeper class
costs about $329
(revalued), far much lower than the foreign currency amount
charged by road
Zimbabwe Businesses Reject Old Coins
HARARE, August 19, 2008 -
Zimbabwean businesses are now refusing old
coins re-introduced into
circulation by the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe early
A survey by Radio VOP indicated that shop-owners
in the central
business district were only taking new coins. Kombi operators
refusing the old coins.
"We are not taking 20
cents, 50cents, $1 - but the new coins - because
the old ones are worthless
to say the least," said a Nigerian shop-owner.
But central bank
governor Gideon Gono, warned business people they
faced prosecution if they
refused to accept coins.
"The old coins are legal tender and
any business person found
violating the law by refusing the coins will be
dealt with in accordance
with the laws of this country. These are the people
who are profiteering
from speculation," Gono said. "All the culprits will be
accounted for by the
monetary authorities," he said.
Zimbabweans now go around with bags full of coins to transact.
Gono re-introduced the old coins beginning this month among other
reforms after a German firm cancelled a deal to supply the country
Zimbabwe's money is fast eroded by hyper-inflation
to be about 11 million percent, the highest in the
independent economic analysts say the figure is much
Business Watch : Week 34
The situation in Zimbabwe has shifted from a
crisis to an emergency as the
economy is collapsing around businesses which
are being forced to accept
that if the rescue package does not come to our
aid within the next few
weeks, they too will be destroyed.
crisis, alleviated for just a few days with the introduction of the
currency, has returned with a vengeance and a number of banks have run
Disparities in pricing, services and charges and the cost of
ordinary incomes abounds causing great
Electricity supply has been reduced due to power station
breakdowns and last
week saw much of industry and commerce without
Government imposed restrictions on exports has had an adverse
already embattled industry and sugar refineries have stopped
their profit generating exports have been
Government moves one crisis to the next wielding an even bigger
desperate to prop up political popularity almost at any cost. This
directly in the face of common sense and general business
The Zimbabwe dollar plunged over the last week and is trading as
high as 1,3
trillion (Quadrillion) to 1 and inflation is being privately
figures even exceeding 40 million percent. Business is pinning its
a prompt resolution to the transitional government talks hoping
opposition will have its way which will ensure that the
package is secured.
This entry was
written by Sokwanele on Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 at 11:20
Tribune Staff/AFP | published: 19 August,
Tsvangirai's full statement:
I have, with great sadness
learnt of the passing-on of a good friend and
comrade, His Excellency Dr
Levy Patric Mwanawasa SC.
As an individual and as a party, we have
always hoped and prayed for his
speedy recovery, Sadly he has left us at
this most trying time. Dr Levy
Pratric Mwanawasa SC was a champion of the
democratisation of the SADC
region in particular and the African continent
in general, as such his
passing-on is a sad day to the Zimbabwean people who
at this stage are
yearning for a new beginning which can unquestionably be
democratic and a reflection of the will of the
At this most difficult time, on my behalf, on behalf of my party
people of Zimbabwe, we send our most sincere condolences to the
family of Dr
Levy Patric Mwanawasa SC and the people of Zambia and we wish
speed. May his soul rest in peace.
- the Little Miracle in London
Every year about 5000
Zimbabweans and friends of Zimbabwe gather in a field
to listen to great
music, soak up the culture and have fun.but it goes
Every year Zimfest is welcomed with fervour and loyalty that verge
religious. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, with
slipping further into hell, Zimfest is something solid and positive
onto. People come each year to be reminded of how it feels to be
... that they actually belong somewhere that they may one day go
The second reason is the fantastic vibe of the festival itself.
it is a zone of total fun and goodwill typical of Zimbabweans
From 2003 onwards, Robert Mugabe in his desperate struggle to
stirred up racial hatred in Zimbabwe after twenty years of
white and black
living and growing together. Zimfest is a reminder of those
years. From the
members of WEZIMBABWE, the charity that puts the festival
on, to the range
of music and entertainment available, Zimfest is
multiracial and multicultural.
Another aspect of the
festival that gets buy in from Zimbabweans, is that
fact that all the funds
generated at Zimfest go towards helping people back
year they were able to continue their flagship school fees sponsorship
programme which saw 3000 school children benefit in school fee support. They
have also supported a non-formal educational scheme in Harare which has been
helping children that have been excluded from the schooling as a direct
result of the failing economy and being orphaned.
help victims of the violence in the current situation where
terror are rife. They have provided support for hundreds of
victims of the
political violence who were either admitted to hospitals or
had had their
This year the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi headlines the
festival, so support
looks to continue to increase and reach further afield
in the Zimbabwean
community and with people who love Zimbabwe. There is also
a range of other
brilliant musicians, from Siyaya who opened WOMAD this year
to Mann Friday,
a great favourite of our readers.
Coordinator of the
festival Phillip Chikwiramakomo said:
"When you take into account that 90
percent of the work done on Zimfest is
done by volunteers, it is easy to see
why it is starting to be called
'Zimfest, The Miracle Festival."
JAG open letter forum - No. 557 - Dated 19 August 2008
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
firstname.lastname@example.org with "For Open Letter Forum" in the
Weynand P Breytenbach
One way to make the granting of
amnesty, to all those guilty of political
misrule, more acceptable, might be
to give them 2 choices.
1). Return everything looted to the rightful
owners in exchange for amnesty.
2). Keep everything looted and face
prosecution in a court of law.
This way the culprits will not end up with
butter on both sides of their
Watching the special on Putin and his
deception and control of Russia (the
invasion of Georgia and other small
countries around) in last night's Fox
T.V. programme, both my husband and I
sat there remarking ... "just how
Mugabe is doing with Zimbabwe". His
masters taught him well when it came
Hopefully MDC will be
wise enough not to strike any deals or be forced in to
anything that will
take them the same way as Nkomo went!
And watch out Israel ... Putin
warned recently re his thoughts there too,
and we know what that will
mean!!! In the end, proving The Bible true as
far as the sceptics
Wise are they who sit up and notice what's going on and aren't swept
any deceptions about real intentions of those
letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of
submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
'SADC not geared up to handle crisis'
August 19 2008 at 10:07AM
and others slammed the failure of the SADC summit
at the weekend to deal
with worldwide demands to have the Mugabe regime's
humanitarian agencies lifted.
In the final communique from the body
there is no mention of the call
made in the days before the summit by United
Nations officials, NGO forums
and the Zimbabwe opposition.
Zimbabwean Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche banned field work by the
during the campaign for the June 27 presidential run-off election.
He accused them of having provided campaign support for the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change during the March 29 elections, which the MDC
A communique issued on Sunday after a special meeting of
organ on politics, defence and security co-operation makes no
mention of the
It calls on the parties to
sign the outstanding agreements "as a
matter of urgency to restore political
stability in Zimbabwe".
At a press briefing afterwards, President
Thabo Mbeki said SADC
facilitation had been initiated about humanitarian
concerns, but suggested
several times that addressing these would have to
take a back seat to
concluding a deal.
"We need this inclusive
government to drive this process of addressing
these challenges," he
Observers pointed out that the SADC's original appointment of
mediator came after the international uproar about the near-fatal
on MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
chairperson of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said
the summit showed the
SADC's "undemocratic governments were not geared to
Zimbabwe was an "exaggerated symptom of the illnesses of
governments" in general.
The fault with the talks was
that "everything has to be suspended",
violence continues, despite undertakings in the
memorandum of understanding
underpinning the talks. The danger is that an
eventual deal will lack
legitimacy if violations continue.
"It is mind-boggling. It is like
putting a gun to somebody's head. It
is extraordinary that you put pressure
(on the Mugabe regime) by removing
such pressure," Sisulu said in reference
to Mbeki's appeasement of Mugabe,
which was going "far beyond Neville
Chamberlain's" appeasement of German
dictator Adolf Hitler.
"Mbeki's handling of the process is one of the most painful things I
experienced in my life," she said.
Women of Zimbabwe Arise was to
issue a report on Tuesday detailing
abuse of women by the Mugabe
It concludes that "generally, women in Zimbabwe have
trauma after 1980 than pre-independence".
says more than 50 percent of the women interviewed were at risk of
developing significant psychological disorders.
Trauma and the
abuse of women would be highlighted, as well as
testimony from women who had
recently spent weeks at the infamous Chikurubi
Female Prison, said a
Nine members of Woza were held by police. Four were
after showing the police safe houses where the five others had
People merely suspected of supporting the MDC are
according to the statement.
was originally published on page 6 of The Star on August
The bullying black Englishmen
August 19 2008
By Heidi Holland
The three educated but
unwise African men plotting Zimbabwe's
short-term future with arrogant
disregard for the will of the people,
President Thabo Mbeki, his Zimbabwean
counterpart Robert Mugabe and Arthur
Mutambara, are more Western-oriented
than any of them cares to admit.
The odd one out in the country's
power-sharing negotiations, who
neither resembles a British gentleman nor
aspires to such an identity, is
Morgan Tsvangirai, ironically the man they
have sneeringly labelled a
With his humble
origins and poor school record, Tsvangirai lacks not
only the lofty Western
educational qualifications that his three opponents
display in their wordy
speeches, witticisms and articles, but their
Bulging out of his cheap suits,
Tsvangirai seems uncomfortable
alongside the three Savile Row dandies, who
are said by some close to the
negotiations to despise the former trade
unionist and principal Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC)
When he stormed out of talks in Harare last week saying he
understand the language they were using, observers wondered if
was not speaking metaphorically but verifying a widespread rumour
Mbeki, Mugabe and Mutambara, the leader of the smaller MDC faction,
each other in French when they do not want Tsvangirai to tune
Of course, it is Tsvangirai's Western political support that
a stooge to the other three. But it is also his lack of
incurs the bitter ridicule of Zimbabwe's power
Some of the words used by negotiators to describe the MDC
is supported by 47 percent of the electorate, are not only
unworthy of repetition in a space such as this, but also a
reminder of the
smug superiority that prevails among well-educated African
dictatorial tendencies. What Tsvangirai has had to endure
during the recent
talks will have been little short of abuse.
Mugabe was in a similarly unnerving position three decades ago in
during the Lancaster House talks that gave birth to Zimbabwe,
was treated condescendingly in a Tory onslaught of real Brits
three scornful black Englishmen.
As the sole leader resisting
Britain's plans for the independence of
its last and troublesome colony,
Rhodesia, Mugabe was subjected to the same
bullying and socially humiliating
treatment that Tsvangirai will undoubtedly
have suffered in closed sessions
with the three African snobs about recent
foreign secretary, Peter Carrington, 6th Baron Carrington of
holder of the Military Cross and a junior minister under
lorded it over Mugabe in the hope that the radical black
politician with a
mass following at home would weaken and give in to British
What Mugabe had in common with Carrington was his
superiority. The big difference, though, was in the British
effortless loftiness as opposed to Mugabe's version, which has
constructed as a shield.
Carrington's manner is in the
blood, a subtle form of intimidation
that leaves outsiders feeling
wrong-footed, even inferior. He acts superior,
believes it and achieves
Mugabe's is a means of protection against the humiliation he
when dealing with those who habitually belittle or denigrate (ie the
in general and their white southern African descendants in
Political deals are often pulled off through sheer
pressure. As surely as every trick in the book was used by
bring Mugabe to heel in 1979, so Tsvangirai will have been
intense threats and promises from three alternately hostile and
Thirty years ago, the British foreign
secretary Mugabe referred to as
"the good lord" was under strict orders from
Margaret Thatcher to achieve a
political settlement at any
He did so by, among other underhand strategies, carefully
cordial relationship with Rhodesia's army commander, General
and sharing the odd joke and suspiciously quiet moment with
terrorist-in-chief Josiah Tongogara, the Zanu military supremo who probably
had half an eye on the job Mugabe coveted in independent
Imagine the level of taunting pressure brought to bear on
as tweedy, pipe-smoking Mbeki, in desperate need of a
deal, and cricket-loving royalist Mugabe (ever the
clever strategist) looked
down their noses at him while cosying up to his
MDC rival, Oxford-educated
Mutambara (whose decision to side with former
Zanu-PF politburo member Simba
Makoni rather than Tsvangirai during the
March election proved decisive in
the inconclusive result).
prestigious and supposedly powerful job of prime minister would
proffered between the two tantalisingly, one minute being
then Mutambara's whenever the irresolute Tsvangirai tried
to bolster his
side of the paltry partnership Mugabe was offering.
observers expected Tsvangirai to buckle under such torment
is not only a
reflection of his record of inconstancy, but perhaps also a
sign that most
of the individuals in the international media and diplomatic
monitor developments in Zimbabwe subconsciously find an
populist like Tsvangirai more difficult to understand and
relate to than the
This is doubtless because politicians such as
Mbeki, Mugabe and
Mutambara more closely resemble the majority of foreign
diplomats, educated Africans having modelled themselves on
Tsvangirai, with neither a shield
of superiority nor the easy
middle-class sociability to win friends and
influence people at a personal
level in the international community,
presents a lonely figure as we watch
the other three trying to stitch up a
deal among themselves. What the
ordinary people of Zimbabwe desire seems
very low on Mbeki's agenda.
Without the Tsvangirai-led MDC,
however, any deal struck in Harare
will lack international credibility. It
will be another false dawn, without
foreign funding for reconstruction of
the country's shattered economy.
It will be reminiscent, too, of
the Springbok captain who, when told
that the international sports boycott
meant that nobody in the world would
play rugby against apartheid South
Africa, responded defiantly: "If nobody
will play with us, we will play with
Heidi Holland is the author of the book Dinner With
This article was originally published on page 11 of
Cape Argus on
August 19, 2008